Video: ‘When they’re quiet, they’re into something’
“Referee” is the word Marisol Barreiro uses to describe being the mother of quintuplets.
“There’s constantly hair pulling, biting, toy stealing,” she said. “It’s just a war zone sometimes.”
The Barreiro quintuplets turned 2 in December. Although they all look alike, Marisol and Carlos Barreiro said, they are all developing unique personalities.
Quick to smile, Darón is the silent type.
“He observes everyone,” Marisol Barreiro said.
He’s also a wanderer. He’s the one who can escape from the crib or jump the gate.
“It doesn’t matter how much you block the area, before you know it, he’s on the other side,” Carlos Barreiro said.
Emealis, or “Emmie” is “my way or no way,” said her mother. She’s also a daddy’s-girl.
When the quints were born, the couple got help from Cindy Roach, the wife of Hamlin, N.Y., Supervisor Dennis Roach, and others from the community. They would take turns helping change, rock and feed the babies.
“We got diapers, wipes, cribs, car seats,” Marisol Barreiro said. “That was helpful, and I’ve passed it along ... to churches and other women who are expecting.”
Marisol Barreiro stays home with the kids. Carlos Barreiro works for Eastman Kodak Co.
Even with her husband's help, she said, they can’t take all the kids out at once, “because we have one or two who will try to escape from us.”
“We need a lot of hands ...,” she said. “We barely get out.”
Marisol Barreiro said she doesn’t use an alarm clock to wake up anymore. The sound of Darón’s footsteps running around the room is her wake-up call. Mornings are spent getting Soleemar ready for school and on the bus, between feeding and changing the quints, and then “hoping and waiting for noon to come when they take a nap," she said.
Unfortunately, nap time usually consists of playtime. “Once in a while I’ll get one or two to sleep,” Marisol Barreiro said.
Thankfully, the babies sleep through the night.
Marisol Barreiro said she is looking forward to getting the quints into day care. She hopes it will teach them about sharing.
“You would think, after two years, they would learn patience and sharing,” she said, “but no, they’re still at the ‘me, me, me’ stage.”
The family has upgraded from a Caravan to a Ford Excursion, which seats nine. The house has three bedrooms and the master bedroom has been turned into the quints’ room. As the kids get older, Marisol Barreiro said, they may have to get a larger home, or they’ll add on.
Child-proofing the house is nearly impossible, Carlos Barreiro said.
“When they’re quiet, that means they’re into something,” he said.
Every day is a new milestone, from talking and walking, to dancing and holding hands. The babies are being brought up bi-lingual. Their parents speak to the children in both Spanish and English.
There are days where Marisol Barreiro wants to pull out her hair, but, she said, “that is minute compared to watching different personalities and having fun with them, and just being so blessed to have a family like this.”
“I can’t tell you there’s not days I don’t stress,” she said, “but I wouldn’t change it.”
Spencerport-Hilton Post writer Amy Cavalier can be reached at (585) 394-0770, Ext. 243, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.